When you think of bookkeeping, do you involuntarily cringe? It’s a safe bet that as a creative, you’re not alone in that reaction. While starting your own business or taking the leap into freelancing can feel liberating, you’re now also responsible for the less sexy tasks—like bookkeeping.

But, think about the positives. Bookkeeping involves invoicing, and invoicing means you’ll be getting paid soon—something we all look forward to. So, if you’re wondering how to learn bookkeeping, you’re in the right place.

First, though, let’s make sure you know the answer to the question: What is bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping in its simplest form is the recording of a company’s financial transactions on a regular basis. Most bookkeeping is now done online, with some combination of accounting software and spreadsheets.

Can You Teach Yourself Bookkeeping? 

Yes, you can, is the short answer. You don’t need to be a math whiz or former finance major to learn how to do bookkeeping. What you do need is a desire to learn, an open mind, and to get rid of that involuntary wince. 

How Long Does it Take to Learn Bookkeeping?

This depends on whether you’re going to be leveraging software to learn how to do bookkeeping or setting up your own process. The quickest and easiest way is to use software that is designed to help novices. However, you’ll still need a basic understanding of the terms and guidelines that the software puts in place for you.

Your best bet is to take a bookkeeping course in order to familiarize yourself with the terminology and standard processes. Then, if you have more questions, you can take more specific classes or hire a professional bookkeeper to consult with you. 

How to Learn Bookkeeping Online

Wondering how to learn bookkeeping at home, instead of in a classroom? These two courses will get you started.

1. Bookkeeping for Freelancers: How to Handle Your Finances

In just 10 lessons and in less than one hour, this class designed specifically for freelancers will discuss:

  • Single-entry bookkeeping
  • Cash vs. accrual accounting
  • Personal vs. business expenses
  • How to categorize your transactions

Once you complete the course, you’ll have a solid understanding of the basics that go into bookkeeping and you’ll be able to answer “What is bookkeeping?” with confidence. 

2. 12 Simple Steps to Get Started With Your Bookkeeping

In this class, you’re only 12 steps away from learning how to do your own bookkeeping. A former accountant walks you through:

  • Bookkeeping software options
  • Account setup
  • Documentation
  • Tax deductions
  • And more!

Twenty-five minutes later, you’ll be well on your way to mastering your own bookkeeping.

Written By

Laura Brothers

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